How thoughtful/rude are you?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/06/2010 ( 48 moms have responded )

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This is a question that strikes me everytime I go to a store that requires a shopping cart, and cart corrals (spelling?). I have a 4yr old son, and a 4month old girl, and I usually try to park as close to the cart return as I can. Do you leave the kids in the car while politely returning the cart, or do you rudely leave it where you are parked??? What is the etiquette with kids???

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Isobel - posted on 08/06/2010

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To be honest, I look at rudeness more as how you treat people, not inanimate objects...if I don't make time to get the cart back, nobody's feelings are really hurt (though I usually do...or at least close).

The other day, an older lady with a walker was walking through the subway station on her way to the attached shopping center...the walkway is down a small flight of stairs, then through a hallway, then up a small flight of stairs. I stopped my kids, I carried her walker down the stairs while my kids held the door for her, then we walked down the hall with her and did the same to help her up (even though it was the opposite direction we were headed in). That's more important to teaching my kids manners than a shopping cart IMHO.

Mary - posted on 08/07/2010

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Dana - one of the smaller grocery stores near me is older (I remember shooping there as a kid with my mom!) and does not have a cart return. On the odd time I shop there with Molly, I leave the cart outside, in the front of the store, walk out to my car, put her in, and drive to the pick-up lane to where my cart is, park in front of it, and load it up then. That's how it was done when I was growing up - there were no cart return kiosks in the parking lot...people left their full carts out in front, got their cars, and then loaded their bags. the carts never entered the parking lots. A fair number of stores in the greater Baltimore area are still like that, especially older ones, or areas where parking is an issue.

[deleted account]

Leave it back but I'm lucky i do the shopping with my partner so the kids are never left on there own..i hate people who cant park properly so i cant get my kid in her seat and my partner has to reverse the car for me to do it and i get beeped for being in the way..even though its the other drivers fault the cant park properly.Getting that off me chest..just happened to day lol..

Sharon - posted on 08/06/2010

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hahaha I gotta agree with Laura - when I opened this - I didn't think it was going to be about shopping carts.

Brandy - posted on 08/06/2010

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I have a 2 year old and a 6 month old and I will usually unload the groceries then walk to the cart corral and unload the kids and my daughter can walk back holding my free hand. Sometimes, if I am in a hurry, I try to look for somebody walking towards the store and ask if they want my cart so I don't have to bother running back to the cart corral with the kids.

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[deleted account]

I always put the cart back, on windy days I have seen carts hit cars and be in the middle of where the cars drive up & down the parking lot. It saves the clerks time when they have to round up the carts as well. We have stores here that you put a quarter in to get a cart and when you return it you get a quarter back out. You rarely see carts in the parking lot because even if you don't take your cart back someone else will to get your quarter!!!

Stifler's - posted on 08/08/2010

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I try to shop sans the baby anyway, I always forget things if he is carrying on in the baby holder bit.

Stifler's - posted on 08/08/2010

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If heaps of people are parked near the trolley bay and I can't park close I leave it, I'm not walking away from my car with my kid in it to put a trolley away 500m away.

Marabeth - posted on 08/08/2010

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i try to return my cart to the corral and i'd say i do about 85% of the time. however, i don't think it's rude to leave them whereever. if you make it so that no one can park there without getting out to move the cart that in a high demand spot that might be rude to the other customers. collecting the carts is someone's job the corrals are just extra polite. besides those teenage boys sit on their butt a lot anyways trying to get out of work and have all those special toys that aid in collecting the carts.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/07/2010

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Ok, so Kati...I think someone (finger pointing at you) may need rubber bumpers padding there car for everyones protection ; )

Laura Cooke, it is so refreshing to hear how loving you are to your neighbors...but rudeness does come in many forms.

Not returning a shopping cart drives me BATTY!!! I know it may be obsurd...but when you have to back up and get out of the car to move a cart so you can park...or choose a MUCH further parking space sucks! Especially when you have kids with you! I will confess, I turn my car on...get the little ones in ...lock the doors and trot to the cart corall. I usually park as close as humanly possible. Did I say that I am so glad this is a pet peeve of other moms too? If not...well I am.

[deleted account]

I always return the cart. It gets rather windy here and it is also hilly, so even a soft wind can send a cart slamming into a car. This has happened to me 4 times!!! My insurance fixes it, minus the deductible, but it's no fun to have to shell out $250 because someone was too busy to return a friggin' cart--it takes 15 seconds!



Most stores here have curbside or bagboys. Walmart & Target are the only stores I can think of that do not. Every time I got hit, I was at Target! I rarely shop there anymore, and if I have tot, I park at the top of the hill, which is far from the store, but at least my car is safe. The Walmart lot is always littered with carts; I would be afraid to park there.



I only have one child, so he always stayed in the cart until I returned it, then I carried him to the car, or he walks now that he's older.

[deleted account]

i go to walmart a lot. i have two boys. . i try to park near a cart corall in general, usually works out that way, but in extenuating circumstances i will leave it in the wrong area, but i really try not to

[deleted account]

Yes, I agree, Kati....I HATE it when people leave their cart right up against my vehicle which is another reason why I choose to park at the far end of the parking lot away from all the other vehicles....PLUS it forces me to get some exercise.

Rosie - posted on 08/07/2010

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i admit it does piss me off when i go to park and theres a cart in the way. or when i come out to a cart that had plowed its way right into the side of my car. it's common courtesy. if i actually gave a shit about the finish of my car, i'd be REALLY pissed that i would have to pay to get it fixed. lucky for them i scratch my car all the time going through drive thrus, them damn yellow poles get me everytime, lol!! just adds to my collection. i get more upset about the cart being where i want to park more than anything. :)

[deleted account]

I know, right?!! I guess it doesn't really bother me because I've left carts on necessary occasions but for someone like Mary who's never even seen a shopping cart left in the parking lot and drives up to load her groceries at the curb outside the doors, I can possibly understand their point of view. sorta?!

Rosie - posted on 08/07/2010

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i take it back everytime. (well almost, lol). only times i havn't i can count on one hand and it's because it's 5 inches of snow on the ground, i can't push the cart to save my life. or it's pouring down rain, and if i am REALLY far away from the cart corral. i think it's happened 3 times maybe where i didn't.
i always park as close to the corals as possible to make it so i don't have to leave my kids in the car alone for more than a couple seconds.

Mary - posted on 08/07/2010

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Oh - and as for the OP's question about "What is the etiquette with kids?"....



To the best of my knowledge, motherhood does not excuse any of us from NOT partaking in socially acceptable norms and behavior. Seriously - how can you expect your child to be polite, thoughtful, and courteous if you, their primary role model, are not??

[deleted account]

"I'm really quite stunned that anyone would consider doing that even remotely acceptable behavior!" - Mary

Mary, what would you do if you couldn't find a corral for you cart and you had two young babies that you would have to carry and put back into their car seats? Would you load up your vehicle and the babies and THEN return the cart?

Mary - posted on 08/07/2010

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I'm fascinated that this is even a question...I would never even consider not returning the cart to it's appropriate place. I have to say, it must not be a huge issue in any of the stores in my area, because I've never really noticed stray carts floating around in any of the 4 nearby grocery stores, Target, Walmart, Costco or BJ's. I'm really quite stunned that anyone would consider doing that even remotely acceptable behavior!

I will say this...the store where I typically shop (Giant) as well as my local Target always seem to have at least one "cart boy" out and about collecting carts from the return to the font of the store. A large majority of the time, they tend to see moms with small kids pushing their groceries out to their car, and usually follow them, help them put their bags in their car, and take the cart back for them. I'm usually a little embarrassed, since I really am quite capable of managing on my own (and I like to arrange the bags in the back of my SUV in such a way that they won't topple over when I drive). I've noticed that on the weekends, there are usually 2 of them. It's busier then, and the second on is typically a high school aged kid. Perhaps people around here may be rude enough to leave the cart just bumbling around, and these guys just retrieve it before it's an issue.

Lyndsay - posted on 08/07/2010

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I will usually return the cart. Sometimes I won't, like if I see the cart collector coming around anyway, he can just bring it for me. I have a 3 year old son so I will usually have him stand beside me while I load all the groceries into the car and have him come with me to return the cart, then put him in his seat when we get back to the car.

[deleted account]

I'm in Abbotsford but YES, our Walmart and our Save-on-Foods both have parent parking....and I think, if I remember correctly, so does Costco here!

Lea - posted on 08/07/2010

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But you can be sued if a cart you leave out dings someone else's car too so put the bags in, return the cart, then put the kids in. what a headache.

Lea - posted on 08/07/2010

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Um you can be arrested for going 5 feet from your car with kids in there please be careful!

Johnny - posted on 08/07/2010

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They have parent parking at your store Dana!?!?! We live in the same place and there is no parent parking at mine. Not fair!!!! Mine just has a 1000 empty wheelchair spots.

[deleted account]

Haha! Funny story....Chad and I did that too! We went to the grocery store to get "a couple things" and we ended up with a buggy full but we had walked there so we just walked home with the groceries in the cart and then the next time we went out Chad threw it in the back of his truck and drove it back, minus the pound because the cart was free to use! lmao

[deleted account]

Return my cart. I only use a cart when there is a car to put it in and since I don't drive it means there is always someone else to watch the kids. Even if I didn't I would leave it laying around.

One of my old flatmates and I went shopping once (walking) and we took the trolley to get all our shopping back to our flat. We were very good and walked it the mile back later to get our pound back!

[deleted account]

P.S. The original post didn't specify grocery shopping? In my head I was picturing my Walmart shopping trips...lmao

[deleted account]

If I can't find a spot close by then I've been known to leave the cart from time to time, because I refuse to leave my young child unattended. That being said, I typically park in the parent parking if it's available OR I'll opt to park WAY at the back so that I'm not around any other vehicles.

Sharon - posted on 08/07/2010

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OOHHH Jessica!! You know? I'm willing to bet that ANY of our grocery stores would do the same. I'd forgotten that stores do that. Now that I think about it, my mom used to use that service at the AFB commissary(sp?). LOL I'm not as likely to need to that service these days as some of you ladies - but its good to know! Maybe I can offer that suggestion to the next harried and frazzled mom I come across!

Jodi - posted on 08/07/2010

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"I want my quarter back!"

Wow, only a quarter? Around here some place charge $2.

With regard to the cart, it depends on where I am. We have one large shopping centre which has NO trolley returns, so if I am parked over the other side, I figure they deserve for me to have the trolley dumped, because honestly, it is a long way from the end of the car park back to the store.....

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 08/07/2010

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Unless im in a hurry (and I have to be in a very big hurry) and im not close to the cart parking I will leave the cart, but I try and leave it in a place that it wont run into a another car,,,,I don’t just push it out my way,,,,hop in the car and skirt out…..
At least 98% of the time I return the cart….and when my son and now my baby boy are with me I leave them in the car, and LOCK it…..and also because I put my purse in the passenger seat…people will do some crazy stuff, like scope you out…. you never know who’s watching you….

Amie - posted on 08/06/2010

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Depends on the day. If it's a really rough day, I'll leave it on the grassy sections of the parking lot.

Otherwise, I unpack everything then if our oldest is with me. I get her to put it away. lol

If it's just me with our younger ones. I can leave our son (5 1/2) in the van while I put the cart away. Our two youngest will come with me. I'll carry one and the other walks with me back to the van.

Becky - posted on 08/06/2010

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Well, at some grocery stores here, we have to pay for our carts, so I definitely return those ones! I want my quarter back! Generally, I do return my carts. I also try to park close to the cart return, and I'll usually put the boys in the car first, lock it, and return the cart. I don't like Cole standing in the parking lot while I'm loading up Zach, and I can't load him first while I'm holding onto Zach.
On rare occassions where I don't return the cart -because it's miserable or it's way far away, I'll push it up on the sidewalk or grass, so it's out of the way of the vehicles at least.
I usually get my groceries carried out to my car at the grocery store too, so then I don't have to worry about it because the bag boy takes it back.

Jessica - posted on 08/06/2010

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Hehe I wasn't thinking shopping carts either! I nearly always put the carts back. I too park next to a cart return place so its always just right there. I usually get annoyed when I see carts laying random places, like you really couldn't walk 15 feet and put it back?? The one exception was one day when I happened to park in the ONE aisle with absolutely NO cart return places in it. There seriously wasn't one anywhere near me (the parking aisle was separated from others by a raised walkway/grassy area so it wasn't like I could just push it directly over to another spot- I would have had to walk it completely around). I was so annoyed they'd design it like that lol I did just leave it that time.

My grocery store actually has curbside pickup, I could just pull my car up and they'd put the groceries in the trunk for me! But I always have the stroller in the trunk so rather than direct them to placing the groceries around it and in the back seat, I just do it myself.

[deleted account]

I almost always (there are definitely days that are an exception) return my cart to the store or corral. If I have all 3 kids, my girls will get in the van (8.5) and I'll wheel my son to the cart spot and then carry him to the van. If I'm completely stressed out already by other things... forget about it.

Sharon - posted on 08/06/2010

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In your case - I tried to park near the corrals. If not there, then near a curb so I could hop the front wheels over the curb so the cart wouldn't become a rolling hazard.

Oh and if I was really tired and maybe didn't get any of my optional parking spots - I would get a bag boy to help me out.

Jocelyn - posted on 08/06/2010

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I always try and park close to a corral because if it's ugly out I put my kids in the car and then run the cart back to it's rightful spot :) (or at least to a large group of carts)
I HATE turning into a parking spot only to have to back out because somebody left their god damn cart in the middle! ARG!..
Sorry, pet peeve lol.

Lindsay - posted on 08/06/2010

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I always return my cart as it's a big pet peeve of mine. The only thing stray carts do is ding up cars parked near them and make parking more difficult because typically if they are stray they wind up blocking another parking space. If the weather is nice, I unload my groceries and take the kids with me to return the cart. If it's rainy or cold, I load up the kids first, then unload my groceries, lock the vehicle, return the cart and then go back to my car. It's usually not an issue because where I shop they have so many cart returns that it's not more than a few spaces away from the car anyhow.

[deleted account]

I like how you abruptly say, "rudely leave it where you parked." Anyway, it depends. At my grocery store someone will follow me to the car, help me unload, and take my buggy back for me. It's a courtesy they offer if the bag boys aren't terribly busy. When someone doesn't follow me back, I'll take it to the corral, or leave it with a big cluster of buggies. The buggy boys have to walk to the cluster anyway to gather them. If I park on the shady side of the building (which I tend to do) where there are no corrals, I'll push the buggy back to the building. But there is usually a worker sitting out there smoking that will tell me they'll take care of it. But no, I won't leave my buggy by itself in the middle of the parking lot.

Charlene - posted on 08/06/2010

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It goes back.. period.
I park close to the corral or if I am parked in a pink spot, which isn't close to a corral, then Gracie comes with me.
It doesn't bug me to see someone leave a cart off to the side of a pink spot though, because they are extra wide and there is more than enough room. Plus sometimes it's nice having the cart right there so that Gracie can go right in from her seat. ;P

Johnny - posted on 08/06/2010

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And come to think of it, I virtually never see anyone not putting the carts back.

Johnny - posted on 08/06/2010

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Hmm, I've never pondered not putting the cart back. Usually I go to the car, unload the groceries, and then take the cart with Michaela still in it to the corral. I generally walk to the grocery store though, either with a stroller for a small shop or the wagon for a big one. So it's not often an issue.

[deleted account]

When I go to the supermarket I take my trolley back I have never considered not to it is only a short walk to the trolley bay which my son would come with me on. Generally though I have my shopping delivered to me because my job was within grocery (I was an outside sales executive that travelled to several grocery stores each day) and I had enough of supermarkets and after having my son it is so much easier to order online and then have it delivered (and cheaper too). Sorry got a little side tracked oops :-)

Joanna - posted on 08/06/2010

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I always put the cart away, unless there are extreme circumstances, like no parking near the cart corrals, or if it's super rainy, or if I'm having a bout of pain that's caused me to leave the store (like the other day, I fell over at the grocery store because my sciatic flared up suddenly). I don't leave my daughter in the car though (unless I'm parked directly next to a corral), she sits in the cart while I put it in the corral, then I take her out and she walks with me. We'll see how it changes when I have this baby, but I grew up in a place where EVERYONE put their carts away. It drives me nuts to see completely capable people, like a 30 year old man with no kids with him, etc, who are close to the corral but just leave their cart wherever, while me, the pregnant woman with a toddler, can walk back to the store to put her cart back.

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